Israeli troops enter Bethlehem after Jerusalem bombing

Israeli forces entered the West Bank town of Bethlehem in a pre-dawn operation on Friday in retaliation for Thursday's suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem, which killed 10 people and wounded 50 others.

Palestinian security sources said about 20 Israeli military vehicles entered the Palestinian autonomous town from several directions before daybreak. The operation appeared limited to arresting suspects and possibly destroying the house where the suicide bomber lived, in the Aida refugee camp next to Bethlehem.

There were no immediate reports of exchange of fire or casualties.

The sources said some of the troops reached Manger Square, beside the famous birthplace of Jesus Christ, without encountering opposition.

Local residents said the Israeli troops asked Palestinian security officers to abandon checkpoints outside Bethlehem before the operation.

The latest suicide bombing took place on board a bus Thursday morning in central Jerusalem near the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The Palestinian bomber was a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, an armed wing of the Fatah movement.



Source: Xinhua



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